Thursday, April 30, 2020

Public Nuisance - Gotta Survive (1966-69 us, impressive garage rock, 2002 double disc remaster)



Gotta Survive is an essential reissue from Jack White’s Third Man Records label. If Public Nuisance is remembered today at all it’s due to their appearance on many of the day’s psychedelic ballroom posters.  This group never released a single or LP in their lifetime but recorded two albums worth of material that sat on the shelf for over 30 years. Frantic Records first released a fine double disc anthology of Public Nuisance’s material which was followed up by this vinyl only reissue in 2012.

The bulk of Gotta Survive was recorded in 1967-1968. A precursor group called Moss & the Rocks released a mediocre garage folk-rock 45 in 1966 but the music on this record is much more experimental and exciting – garage psych with detours into folk-rock, hard rock and sunshine pop. Listening to Gotta Survive makes me think of a band caught between the primitive garage rock era (the Seeds, Music Machine, etc.) and the heavier, hard rock sounds that emerged in 1968 (think Blue Cheer or the underrated Yesterday’s Children). Public Nuisance also had a knack for catchy melodies and pop hooks as heard on the atmospheric “Sabor Thing.”  They were a versatile group whose songs have inventive arrangements and pop friendly melodies.

Tracks like the churning “Thoughts,” “Strawberry Man,” and “Magical Music Box” show the group wasn’t afraid to take a chance in the studio.  “Magical Music Box,” a punchy rocker with Who/Move-like energy (without sounding like either of these groups) and fuzz propelled guitar work is a particular standout.  “Small Faces,” a track Jack White has often covered live, is the album’s true classic – a powerful guitar heavy monster that has to rank as one of the best songs in the garage psych bag.  “Ecstasy”, another gem, is the group at their most psychedelic and complex, featuring flutes, harpsichord and morose vocals.

Had Gotta Survive been released in 1968 it would have ranked as one of the better psych albums of it’s day.  Hopefully Third Man Records will offer up the group’s remaining material on a second vinyl installment.  Public Nuisance may have been one of the era’s best kept secrets (hard luck acts) but it’s good to know that people still appreciate this music 45 years on.
by Jason Nardelli,  January 16th, 2013
Tracks
Disc 1
1. Magical Music Box - 2:49
2. Strawberry Man - 2:42
3. Ecstasy (Pat Minter) - 4:44
4. Love Is A Feeling - 3:19
5. Holy Man - 2:39
6. Gotta Survive (Pat Minter) - 5:37
7. Small Faces - 2:56
8. Sabor Thing (Pat Minter) - 3:25
9. I Am Going - 5:59
10.Evolution Revolution - 3:47
11.7 Or 10 - 2:35
12.Thoughts - 3:27
13.There She Goes - 4:47
14.Please Come Back (David Houston, Pat Minter) - 3:20
All songs by David Houston except where noted
Disc 2
1. America (Pat Minter) - 3:22
2. Time Can't Wait - 2:40
3. Darlin' (Pat Minter) - 4:36
4. Now I Think - 3:02
5. Daddy's Comin' Home (Pat Minter) - 2:55
6. Pencraft Transcender - 3:20
7. Katie Shiner (Pat Minter) - 4:59
8. Man From The Backwoods - 2:10
9. One Man's Story (Pat Minter) - 5:55
10.I'm Only Sleeping (John Lennon, Paul McCartney) - 2:30
11.Hold On - 2:29
12.Going Nowhere - 8:24
13.There She Goes - 2:54
14.Please Come Back - 3:06
All songs by David Houston except where indicated
Tracks 13,14 from Disc 1 recorded early 1966 as Moss And The Rocks
Tracks 13,14 from Disc 2 recorded mid 1966 as Moss And The Rocks
Tracks 1 - 12 from Disc 1 recorded December 1968 to January 1969. 2 track stereo master. Remastered at Capitol Mastering Hollywood.
Tracks 1 - 12 from Disc 2 recorded September & October 1968. 8 track master.

The Public Nuisance
*Ron McMaster - Drums, Percussion, Vocals
*Jim Mathews - Rhythm Guitar, Vocals
*Pat Minter - Bass, Vocals
*David Houston - Vocals, Lead Guitar, Keyboards, Harmonica

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Monday, April 27, 2020

Blue Ash - No More, No Less (1973 us, fascinating power pop glam rock, 2008 remaster)



Hailing from Youngstown, Ohio, Blue Ash are the great, forgotten power pop band of the early '70s. Actually, "forgotten" may be too strong a word, for any power pop fan worth their salt knows of Blue Ash even if they've never been able to score either of their two LPs.

Blue Ash were a rock band first and foremost, placing the sheer rush of sound over hooks, something that a lot of their progeny never did. That's what gives their debut No More No Less …such a punch: they are one of the few groups that truly put some power in their pop.

This much is evident by the raucous album-opener "Abracadabra (Have You Seen Her)," a song with all the melodic rush of "Go All the Way" but leaner and meaner. Not all of the album keeps up at this same furious pace, as the guitars jangle as much as they roar and the group occasionally dips into a loping country-rock groove…and they do get sunbleached and mellow on "What More Can I Do." But most of No More No Less filters old-time rock & roll (the big-time boogie "Let There Be Rock") and '60s guitar pop ("Plain to See" evokes the Searchers, "I Remember a Time" the Byrds, and "Anytime at All" is a Beatles cover) through the outsized amplification of '70s hard rock. It's an addictive sound -- and one that hinted at the power pop that was to come even if it didn't directly influence it and it still carries a mighty punch all these years later. - Stephen Thomas Erlewine, AllMusic

No More No Less is an astonishingly explosive debut, and with apparently limitless potential, Blue Ash should by all rights become a major phenomenon.” 
by Ken Barnes, Rolling Stone (07/19/73)
Tracks
1. Abracadabra (Have You Seen Her?) - 3:06
2. Dusty Old Fairgrounds (Bob Dylan) - 2:49
3. Plain To See - 2:42
4. Just Another Game - 2:57
5. I Remember A Time - 2:57
6. Smash My Guitar - 3:18
7. Anytime At All (John Lennon, Paul McCartney) - 2:21
8. Here We Go Again - 3:26
9. What Can I Do For You? (Jim Kendzor) - 3:49
10. All I Want - 2:58
11. Wasting My Time - 2:54
12. Let There Be Rock - 2:31
All songs by Bill Bartolin, Frank Secich except where stated

Blue Ash
*Frank Secich - Bass Guitar, Vocals
*David Evans - Drums, Vocals
*Bill "Cupid" Bartolin - Lead Guitar, Vocals
*Jim Kendzor - Lead Vocals, Rhythm Guitar

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Saturday, April 25, 2020

Tayles - Whoaretheseguys (1972 us, remarkable rural acid psych rock)



"Who are these guys?" may be a legitimate question when it comes to the quasi-psychedelic obscurity Tayles, but their one slice of rock, aptly enough titled Who Are These Guys?, is freewheeling and fun while maintaining some of the underlying menace that characterized the genre. That is not to say that the album necessarily belongs to the highest level of early-'70s psych -- it is, in fact, much closer to straight pop -- but the band's music was singular enough to deserve its regional popularity and its album good enough to have deserved a more widespread audience than it gained upon its release in 1972.

Add to that the fact that the album was recorded entirely live and Who Are These Guys? shows the band to be talented, inventive musicians who were capable of writing solid, commercially ready songs that, nevertheless, passed by unheard outside the local area in their heyday. The Gear Fab reissue opens with each side of the 1971 double-gatefold Tayles single. Two of the songs, "Funny Paper Sam" and "It's High Time" were deemed too risqué for the AM radio censors but are actually a lulling pop song and a demented, slightly off-kilter rave-up, respectively, while the other two songs are also strong, including the good-time rock of "Bizarro Ben," somewhat of a signature song for the band and the only tune that shows up as part of the live set. From the beginning of the live album, Tayles displays its proficiency. The short, beautiful, flute-led "Introduction" segues into a "Bizarro Ben" that is more raucous than the studio version. From there, the band tears into an assortment of bassist Jeremy Wilson and guitarist Bob Schmidtke originals. 

There are recognizable influences in the music, but, for the most part, the band does not betray too significant of a debt to any of their more well-known contemporaries. They also have no problem investing their music with humorous, poppy, soulful, even schmaltzy elements, and all with interesting results. They can keep it short and sweet, as on "Did It," rip through quick, idiosyncratic blues ("Life on Other Planets Shuffle" and "Apocalypse Blues"), or let loose with some extended instrumental sections, as in "Black Widow Spider" and "Guitar." None of it will make a listener re-evaluate the state of rock music, but it offers at least a couple fun listens. 
by Stanton Swihart 
Tracks
1. Bizarro Ben - 4:54
2. She Made Me That Way - 3:24
3. Funny Paper Sam - 5:22
4. It's High Time (Bob Schmidtke) - 2:24
5. Introduction - 1:01
6. Bizarro Ben - 6:25
7. Did It - 3:13
8. Baby Doughdough (Jeremy Wilson, Bob Schmidtke) - 3:28
9. Black Widow Spider (Jeremy Wilson, Bob Schmidtke) - 4:59
10.Life On Other Planets Shuffle (Bob Schmidtke) - 1:30
11.Angry With My Friend - 6:26
12.Master Of The Arts - 3:29
13.Apocalypse Blues - 3:01
14.Guitar (Bob Schmidtke) - 7:27
All songs by Jeremy Wilson except where indicated
Tracks 1-4 from 45 EP singles 1972
Tracks 5-14 Originally released as LP " Whoaretheseguys " in 1972 and recorded live at The Nitty Gritty, Madison (USA), March 18th, 1972.

Tayles
*Scott Eakin - Flute, Vocals
*Rick Markstrom - Drums, Vocals
*Paul Petzold - Organ
*Bob Schmidtke - Guitar, Vocals
*Jeremy Wilson - Bass, Vocals

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Friday, April 24, 2020

Chris Lucey - Songs Of Protest And Anti-Protest (1965 us, amazing baroque folk psychedelia, 2002 mono edition)



This sought after psychedelic pop gem from obscure Californian songwriter is often compared to Love's Forever Changes, in that it is an intricate exploration of sophisticated arrangements and bleak and twisted lyricism. Calling to mind Tim Buckley and Scott Walker's series of solo albums, that might get fans of such scouring the LP bins in search of this fantastic obscurity. However, it may be difficult to come by, as it is one of the most sort after albums in its genre. Released in 1966 to unanimous indifference, Songs of Protest and Anti-Protest may have been a little too courageous for it's time, tackling blues, exotic -- almost lounge arrangements and pure pop psychedelia. It's beauty is in its absolute fracture and collage of a million and one ideas.

Like Arthur Lee, Chris Lucey can turn a simple phrase into a magnificent innuendo. Chris Lucey would go further out there on two subsequent albums as Jameson and Bobby Jameson, which are both equally treasured items of pop exploitation -- that is the '60s phenomenon of bandwagon jumping that produced some of the most magnificent post-modernist obscurities such as this. One can picture the produces briefing to attempt an Abbey Road/Pet Sounds/Forever Changes/Highway 61 Revisited hybrid, then culminating collaged arrangements and schizophrenia that gives this record its wayward charm.
by Dean McFarlane
Tracks
1. That's the Way the World Has Got to Be (Pt. 1) - 2:11
2. I'll Remember Them - 3:59
3. Girl from Vernon Mountain - 3:09
4. I Got the Blues - 2:31
5. Saline - 1:37
6. That's the Way the World Has Got to Be (Pt. 2) - 3:02
7. With Pity, But It's Too Late - 1:55
8. You Came, You Saw, But You Didn't Conquer Me - 1:26
9. Girl from the East - 3:50
10.Don't Come Looking - 2:50
11.Metro Man - 2:48
12.There's a War Going On - 3:09
13.Insecure Little Person - 2:30
14.World War 3 - 4:02
All songs by Bobby Jameson

Personnel
*"Chris Lucey" Bobby Jameson - Vocals, Guitar, Harmonica
*Nick Robbins- Synthesizer

1967  Bobby Jameson - Color Him In (2007 issue) 

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Thursday, April 23, 2020

John Cale - Vintage Violence (1970 uk, elegant art rock, 2001 bonus tracks remaster)



I was listening to a Paul McCartney album the other day, thinking about how when you listen to his solo work, you can then go back and hear just what his contributions were to the Beatles. More likely, you don’t even have to go back, if the Beatles albums are as ingrained into your head as they should be. We get that same opportunity with John Cale and the Velvet Underground, listening to Cale’s brilliant Vintage Violence.

Granted, John Davies Cale left the VU after finishing their second album, but you can tell they missed out on a good thing. This record, unlike the surprising cover would imply, is a perfect pop gem. You might think you’d be getting into a full LP’s worth of Sister Ray type viola droning and electric mayhem, but Cale proves he’s got mad pop song skills to match his solid, driving piano stomping.

No doubt some of these songs should have been hits. That’s what we’re here for though; I’ve got ten bucks that says a song from this album ends up in the next Wes Anderson film (editors note: fail), and if I had to pick one I’d probably go with Amsterdam, certainly a competitor to The Zombs’ The Way I Feel Inside.

If you are into Brian Eno this is going to be very essential for you. John Cale would go on to create more wonderful music and produce some seriously classic albums, so get started here.
by Brendan McGrath, March 22nd, 2007

John Cale had the strongest avant-garde credentials of anyone in the Velvet Underground, but he was also the Velvet whose solo career was the least strongly defined by his work with the band, and his first solo album, Vintage Violence, certainly bears this out. While the banshee howls of Cale's viola and the percussive stab of his keyboard parts were his signature sounds on The Velvet Underground and Nico and White Light/White Heat, Cale's first solo album, 1970's Vintage Violence, was a startlingly user-friendly piece of mature, intelligent pop whose great failing may have been being a shade too sophisticated for radio. 

Cale's work with the Velvets was purposefully rough and aurally challenging, but Vintage Violence is buffed to a smooth, satin finish, with Cale and his group sounding witty on tunes like Adelaide and Cleo, pensive on Amsterdam, and lushly orchestrated on Big White Cloud. (Cale also gets a lot of production value out of his backing group, credited as Penguin but actually members of Garland Jeffreys' band, Grinder's Switch.) And anyone expecting the fevered psychosis that Cale let loose on later albums like Fear and Sabotage/Live is in for a surprise; Cale has rarely sounded this well-adjusted on record, though his lyrical voice is usually a bit too cryptic to stand up to a literal interpretation of his words.

If Cale wanted to clear out a separate and distinct path for his solo career, he certainly did that with Vintage Violence, though it turned out to be only one of many roads he would follow in the future. [The 2001 CD reissue adds two bonus tracks: a previously unreleased alternate version of Fairweather Friend, and the previously unreleased Wall.] 
by Mark Deming
Tracks
1. Hello, There - 2:44
2. Gideon's Bible - 3:24
3. Adelaide - 2:22
4. Big White Cloud - 3:32
5. Cleo - 2:36
6. Please - 4:20
7. Charlemagne - 5:01
8. Bring It on Up - 2:26
9. Amsterdam - 3:14
10.Ghost Story - 3:48
11.Fairweather Friend (Garland Jeffreys) - 2:29
12.Fairweather Friend (Alternate Version) (Garland Jeffreys) - 2:39
13.Wall - 6:11
All songs by John Cale, except where noted

Musicians
*John Cale - Vocals, Bass, Guitar, Keyboards
*Garland Jeffreys - Guitar, Backing Vocals
*Ernie Coralla - Guitar
*Sanford Konikoff - Drums
*Harvey Brooks - Bass
*Stan Szelest - Piano

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Wednesday, April 22, 2020

Tom Rush - The Circle Game (1968 us, beautiful orchestrated folk, 2008 remaster and expanded)



 A candid and charming collection of songs that glisten as beautifully as a clear mountain stream. Singer/songwriter/poet Tom Rush had a wonderful idea in mind for a concept album, working with music business greats Arthur Gorson and Paul Harris to blend the best of the time period's songwriters.

The effort results in a splendid achievement of emotionally and lyrically gripping material. Taking advantage of his resonant tenor voice and the majestic talents of a stirring crew of musicians, Rush performs wistful and ethereal versions of some of his favorite songs. Material selected includes deeply lyrical tunes such as Joni Mitchell's "Tin Angel" and "Urge for Going," and romantic songs like James Taylor's "Something in the Way She Moves."

The album, titled The Circle Game, features Mitchell's radio hit single of the same name. Certainly during the '70s this album was marketed well and fared with great success among the listening public, inviting Rush into an elite group of solo singer/songwriters of the decade.

Just to prove to the world that he is no fluke himself when it comes to arranging and composing, Rush succeeds with two beautifully crafted works of his own, masterfully woven and spun on the acoustic guitar, along with an endearing work of lush production featuring the brilliant efforts of conductor Paul Harris and orchestra.

A must-listen for those who are sincerely curious and are seeking a good singer/songwriter talent from this period.
by Shawn M. Haney
Tracks
1. Tin Angel (Joni Mitchell) - 3:22
2. Something In The Way She Moves (James Taylor) - 3:25
3. Urge For Going (Joni Mitchell) - 5:50
4. Sunshine, Sunshine (James Taylor) - 2:55
5. The Glory Of Love (Billy Hill) - 2:22
6. Shadow Dream Song (Jackson Browne) - 3:24
7. The Circle Game (Joni Mitchell) - 5:12
8. So Long (Charlie Rich) - 2:55
9. Rockport Sunday (Tom Rush) - 4:34
10.No Regrets (Tom Rush) - 3:50
11.(Coda) (Tom Rush) - 0:48
12.Something In The Way She Moves (James Taylor) - 3:31
13.Urge For Going (Joni Mitchell) - 3:37
14.The Circle Game (Take One) (Joni Mitchell) - 5:34
Bonus Tracks 11-14

Musicians
*Tom Rush - Guitar, Vocals
*Hugh Mccracken - Electric Guitar, Keyboards
*Don Thomas - Electric Guitar, Keyboards
*Jonathan Raskin - Acoustic Guitar, Bass
*Bruce Langhorne - Acoustic Guitar
*Eric Gale - Electric Guitar
*Joe Grimm - Saxophone
*Joe Mack - Saxophone
*Bob Bushnell - Saxophone
*Paul Harris - Keyboards, Orchestra Conducted
*Buddy Lucas - Saxophone
*Herb Lovelle - Drums
*Bernard Purdie - Drums
*Richie Ritz - Drums

1965  Tom Rush - Tom Rush
1970  Tom Rush - Tom Rush / Wrong End Of The Rainbow
1972-74 Tom Rush - Merrimack County / Ladies Love Outlaws (2000 edition)

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Monday, April 20, 2020

Earth Quake - Purple The A&M Years / Earth Quake / Why Don't You Try Me (1971-72 us, good power pop rock, 2003 remaster)



Formed 1966 and initially called Purple Earth Quake, this Berkeley, California-based band was not only a permanent presence on the Bay Area music scene for more than a decade, but they gathered loyal followings throughout scattered pockets of the world and received a bit of airplay as well. During their lifespan, Earth Quake cut five studio albums, along with a live effort.

The band’s debut disc, simply dubbed Earth Quake, set the stage and standard for subsequent collections. Punchy hard rock, occasionally escorted by soul and funk trimmings, personified the group’s sound and style. Competent yet earthy, the band remained dedicated to their roots, but were wise enough to filter fresh fragrances into their material to prevent them from coming off as slavish imitators.

Here on the group’s second album, Why Don’t You Try Me? (A&M Records), they pursue a balance of harmony and heft with positive results.

Rolling with rapid rhythms, “Train Ride,” which is perhaps the strongest song on the disc, contains a torrent of towering choruses and a run of slashing Jimmy Page influenced licks that really hammer the point home. The burly buzz of “Live And Let Live” additionally reveals a Led Zeppelin fixation before climaxing into a funky Isley Brothers-flavored jam, and “Bright Lights” clocks in as just one example of Earth Quake’s knack for laying down the kind of gritty white man blues heard on certain Small Faces and Humble Pie recordings.

Released as a single, “I Get The Sweetest Feeling” definitely does carry a sweet feeling. Busy horns, honking with happiness, carpeted with a sparkling luster guide the program on the merry Motown-inspired missive. Stationed in a somewhat similar file is “Riding High On Love,” which skips and shuffles to a big and bubbly soul pop beat.

Although Earth Quake often dipped their toes into commercial pop territory, hard rock seemed to be their primary asset. Equipped with the power of the Who, boasting the brawn of Deep Purple, and armed with a surplus of inviting hooks and breaks, the group smoked like a city on fire when cranking the heavy stuff.
by Beverly Paterson
Tracks
1. Tumbleweed (Robbie Dunbar, Stan Miller) - 2:55
2. Distance Between (Greg Boykin, Robbie Dunbar) - 2:57
3. Summer Song (Robbie Dunbar) - 3:13
4. Things (Greg Boykin, Robbie Dunbar) - 9:21
5. Guarding You (Stan Miller, Steve Nelson) - 4:07
6. Wind Keeps Blowing (Robbie Dunbar) - 2:58
7. Look Out Your Window (Robbie Dunbar, Greg Boykin, Stan Miller, John Doukas) - 3:04
8. Blurry Eyes (John Doukas, Robbie Dunbar) - 4:08
9. Tickler (Robbie Dunbar) - 4:19
10.Bright Lights (John Doukas, Robbie Dunbar) - 3:27
11.Light Before The Blindman's Eyes (Rose Bimler, Robbie Dunbar) - 3:31
12.I Get The Sweetest Feeling (Alicia Evelyn, Van McCoy) - 3:41
13.Trainride (Robbie Dunbar) - 6:28
14.See What My Love Can Do (Robbie Dunbar, John Doukas) - 4:04
15.Why Don't You Try Me? (Billy Young) - 3:09
16.Riding High On Love (Edwin Starr, John W. Bristol) - 2:38
17.Live And Let Live (Robbie Dunbar, John Doukas) - 5:41
Tracks 1-9 from the 1971 album "Earth Quake"
Tracks 10-17 from the 1972 album  "Why Don't You Try Me?"

Earth Quake 
*Robbie Dunbar - Guitar, Electric Piano, Vocals
*John Doukas - Vocals
*Stan Miller - Bass, Vocals
*Steve Nelson - Drums, Vocals
With
*Pete Sears - Keyboards
*Lenny Pickette - Saxes
*Jim Horn - Saxes
*Chuck Findley - Trumpet

1976  Earth Quake - 8.5 (Vinyl) 
1977  Earth Quake ‎– Leveled (Vinyl) 
Related Acts
1975-93  Various Artists - Beserkley's Best 
1976-2000   Various Artists - Beserkley Chartbusters / Beserk "Alive Over Germany" 

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Sunday, April 19, 2020

Chris Gantry - Introspection (1968 us, splendid orchestrated folk country rock, Vinyl edition)



Gantry’s big breakthrough came when Glen Campbell scored a hit with his song “Dreams of the Everyday Housewife,” which was included on the milestone 1968 album Wichita Lineman, preceding the legendary title track’s release as a single. That same year, Gantry released his debut album, Introspection, including his own version of the song alongside a batch of gracefully orchestrated, harmonically and lyrically sophisticated folk-rock tunes. Though there was no shortage of such sounds coming from either coast, it was still an anomaly in Nashville. “It was probably one of the first real singer/songwriter albums that was orchestrated like a Glen Campbell record, but Nashville-style,” Gantry assesses. “But it just did not catch on in the way that I thought it would.”

After Gantry fell under the spell of Charles Mingus’s jazz innovations, his muse led him even further afield, and his next album, 1970’s Motor Mouth, made its predecessor seem staid by comparison. ” I didn’t want to stay Mr. ‘Dreams of the Everyday Housewife’ for the rest of my life,” he says. “So I changed, and I got a lot of slack for it. I sang those songs when I was on the road with Kris. I was his opening act, and I would do all that wacky shit opening for Kris.”

Today Gantry is still busy performing, writing, and recording, with a number of albums out over the last few years and a new solo acoustic record in the works. And he’s sanguine about the way things worked out with At the House of Cash. “I did the right thing by making that record,” he says. “I might not be a household name, and I might not have made the paychecks that a lot of the other guys have done, but I stayed true to artistic pursuit, and I’m still doing it, and that is my legacy. That is what I was born to do.”
by Jim Allen
Tracks
1. Dreams On The Everyday Housewife - 2:49
2. Sundown Mary - 2:35
3. If Only She Had Stayed - 2:16
4. Mexico Rain - 2:09
5. Tennessee Me - 2:03
6. Jamaica Avenue - 3:01
7. Louisville-Nashville Southbound Train - 3:12
8. Stranger I've Known A Long Time - 2:29
9. Atlanta Georgia Stray - 3:47
10.Dad I Never Saw You Cry - 2:32
All compositions by Chris Gantry

*Chris Gantry - Vocals, Guitar

1969  Chris Gantry - Motor Mouth (Vinyl)
1973  Chris Gantry - At The House Of Cash 1973 (Drag City 2017)

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Saturday, April 18, 2020

The Sons Of Champlin - Follow Your Heart (1971 us, fine brass jazz rock with prog shades, 2002 remaster)


The Sons, who had once called themselves the Sons of Champlin and would again, broke up in March 1970 but re-formed in the fall of the year when Capitol Records reminded them they owed another album on their contract and they decided they could use the advance to pay their back taxes. Saxophonist Tim Caine could not be persuaded to return, which left a quintet without horns, eliminating what had been a major element of their sound, since the horn playing of multi-instrumentalists Bill Champlin and Geoffrey Palmer had been dependent on Caine's arrangements. But that actually simplified the sound of a band that had always been a little busy musically. 

The songs on Follow Your Heart tended to be shorter than those on the band's previous albums, with more focused arrangements. There was more room for Terry Haggerty's inventive guitar playing to impress the listener, notably on the title track, and Champlin's songwriting was not lost in the lengthy improvisations and digressions. (As usual, however, the songwriting was credited to the group, albeit through the pseudonym "B.B. Heavy.") But the downside of the new Sons sound was that it was more cut and dried; ironically for an album called Follow Your Heart, the music seemed to be following the bandmembers' heads.

This was certainly the Sons' most immediately accessible recording, and it might have been their most commercially successful one under other circumstances. But heads were rolling at the troubled Capitol Tower in the early '70s, and anyway, this was just a contractual-obligation release. The Sons only did a handful of West Coast gigs to support it in the spring of 1971 before breaking up again, so it never really had a chance.
by William Ruhlmann 
Tracks
1. Before You Right Now - 5:33
2. Children Know - 3:28
3. Hey Children - 4:53
4. Follow Your Heart - 5:50
5. Beside You - 1:46
6. Headway - 1:48
7. The Child Continued - 7:34
8. A Sound Love - 3:35
9. Well Done - 5:37
All songs by Bill Champlin

The Sons Of Champlin
*Bill Champlin - Vocals, Trumpet 
*Tim Kane - Saxophone 
*Terry Haggerty - Lead Guitar 
*Strong E - Bass 
*Jim Myers - Drums 
*Jeff Palmer - Horn

1969  The Sons Of Champlin - Loosen Up Naturally (2003 Remaster) 
1969  Sons of Champlin - The Sons (2005 Japan)
 
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Wednesday, April 15, 2020

Disciple - Come And See Us As We Are (1970 us, marvelous sunny psych with garage shades, 2007 issue)



The members of Disciple were all about 20-years-old in 1970, when they released their only record, Come and See Us as We Are!. Courtesy of Fallout Records, the album is now available on CD, and the label touts the album as a "lost psychedelic gem". The title track, which opens the album, does little to refute that assertion; the song is all choir-like vocals, brooding guitar phrasings, and slow-thudding drums layered into an effective wall of noise. The song appears twice more on the record, as a mid-LP refrain and once again as the closer. Unfortunately, these are the only moments on the record that even touch on elements of psychedelia. 

The rest of the record is full of powerless power-pop. Songs like "There Must Be an Answer" and "I'll Be Gone" seem to take more from soft rock radio than Brian Wilson and the result is an album full of saccharin '70s pop that rarely rises above its meager parts. "Bustin' Loose" is a track as cheesy as its title implies, with a melody aped from "Help Me, Rhonda" and a chorus that could have come from some old PSA for self-esteem. In the end, Come and See Us as We Are! is an album not unlike the band's young members -- it's precocious and bouncy, but ultimately aimless.
by Matthew Fiander, 01 Jul 2007
Tracks
1. Come and See Us As We Are! (Chris Sheppard, Jon Oliver) - 5:07
2. Come Along (Chris Sheppard) - 3:35
3. There Must Be An Answer (Chris Sheppard) - 2:58
4. Bits of My Life (Chris Sheppard) - 3:03
5. Bustin' Loose (J.F. Murphy) - 3:58
6. Are We As Us See and Come (Parade) (Chris Sheppard, Jon Oliver) - 0:50
7. Better Than You (Mental Song) (Chris Sheppard, Jon Oliver, Sandy Crespo, Al Christopher, Dennis Lattman) - 3:45
8. I'll Be Gone (Chris Sheppard, Jon Oliver) - 2:38
9. Rescue Me (Raynard Miner, Carl Smith) - 2:42
10.Never Changing (Jon Oliver) - 2:54
11.Gotta Get You Into My Life (John Lennon, Paul McCartney) - 3:51
12.Come and See Us (Chris Sheppard, Jon Oliver) -2:02

Disciple
*Al Christopher - Drums, Percussion
*Sandy Crespo - Vocals, Percussion
*Dennis Lattman - Keyboards, Vocals, Percussion
*Jon Oliver - Guitar, Vocals, Percussion
*Chris Sheppard - Bass, Keyboards, Vocals, Percussion

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Tuesday, April 14, 2020

Chris Gantry - Motor Mouth (1969 us, exceptional outlaw country rock with fuzz guitars, Vinyl edition)



A widely respected tunesmith, singer, playwright, author, and maverick recording artist, Chris Gantry was the sort of outlaw presence in 1960s Nashville who later became associated with his better-known peers like Kris Kristofferson, Merle Haggard, and Johnny Cash. Amid a series of eclectic folk, pop, and country releases of his own, his career as a songwriter took off when Glen Campbell recorded Gantry's tune, "Dreams of the Everyday Housewife," turning him into a Music Row commodity. After leaving Nashville in the late-70s, he reinvented himself as an author of several novels, plays, books of poetry, and children's books. Gantry later returned to music in the 2010s, picking up where he left off with albums like 2015's Gantry Rises Again and 2019's Nashlantis.

A native of New York, Gantry was already an industry veteran by the time he reached Music City at the age of 21, having scored a short-lived recording deal with a friend in his early teens. Once in Nashville, he cut his teeth at bars like Skull's Rainbow Room, a Printers Alley burlesque where he met other up-and-comers like Kristofferson and Shel Silverstein. 

After several years of writing and gigging, Gantry scored a deal with Monument Records, which issued his debut LP, Introspection, in 1968. A vibrant mix of folk, pop, and country, it contained a song called "Dreams of the Everyday Housewife," which became a major hit for Glen Campbell that same year and won Gantry the Nashville Songwriter Award. Over the next decade, he continued to pen songs for a wide range of country stars while continuing his own sporadic recording career with albums like 1970's hard-edged Motor Mouth and a self-titled 1975 set. In between those two releases were sessions for a wildly eclectic LP recorded at Johnny Cash's House of Cash studio. An unruly and forward-thinking outlaw missive, At the House of Cash was too far out to find a label, and Gantry eventually shelved his lost album and moved on with his career. 
by Timothy Monger
Tracks
1. Soup Duck - 3:49
2. Ear - 3:36
3. Nashville Jack Magic - 4:12
4. Allegheny - 3:26
5. Pentagon Bye Gone - 3:48
6. The Patent Leather Boogie Man - 4:47
7. Down - 3:07
8. Bone - 3:08
9. Family - 2:47
10.Flashlight - 2:47
All songs by Chris Gantry

Musicians
*Chris "Motor Mouth" Gantry - Acoustic Guitar, Vocals
*Tim Drummond - Bass
*Lee "Ping Bobot" Shively - Drums
*Karl Himmel - Drums
*George "Sly Mongoose" Turner - Electric Guitar
*Andy McMahon - Piano 

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Sunday, April 12, 2020

Gene Clark ‎– No Other / No Other Sessions (1974 us, brilliant folk country classic rock, 2019 hybrid SACD three disc box set)



Barely understood when it was released in 1974, No Other is Gene Clark’s most polarizing record but generally considered essential today.

Almost every song an epic, Clark’s songwriting was never up for debate, nor his genuinely poetic verses, but it’s Thomas Jefferson Kaye’s production that would weed out hordes of would-be fans. I contend the producer made only one mistake: the use of “power gospel” backing vocals on every track is probably what turns most people off to No Other. Strike the voices and this record would be hailed as a mid-70s masterpiece for Clark’s efforts as much as its lush, candied orchestration.

The record starts off without skipping a beat from the Clark oeuvre; “Life’s Greatest Fool” sounds like a natural step forward from his earlier country rock. The supporting musicians are perfectly in tune with the vision; I want to dig in deeper with the sound every listen, so I hardly consider it overcooked. One tune does embody Gene’s new super-glam image in sound, where you can “hear the cocaine” churning the record: the sinister title track, “No Other,” is slathered with sleazy synth lines and electric guitars. Whether for camp or pure songcraft it’s an irresistable jam and centerpiece of the record.

All of the numbers possess the signature Gene Clark sound. Say when he waits for “Strength Of Strings” to reach full crescendo before sinking into his minor-tinged verse with that untouchable heartworn vocal. Clark is one of the world’s greatest songwriters, his skill in transforming traditional progressions to his unique brand of song unmatched.

Give this record the right chance and you’ll reach the point where you appreciate every overdone detail, down to the gorgeous sleeve and awesomely hideous poster of Gene decked in flowing garments, beads, and makeup in front of an airbrushed Gene Clark monument. I only have the record, but the CD resissue is reportedly worth it for the alternative versions and “Train Leaves Here This Morning,” a retake from the Expedition.
by Brendan McGrath
Tracks
Disc 1
1. Life's Greatest Fool 4:44
2. Silver Raven 4:53
3. No Other 5:08
4. Strength Of Strings 6:32
5. From A Silver Phial - 3:40
6. Some Misunderstanding - 8:09
7. The True One - 3:59
8. Lady Of The North (Gene Clark, Doug Dillard) - 6:04
All songs by Gene Clark except track #8
Disc 2
1. From A Silver Phial (Version 4) - 3:51
2. Silver Raven (Version 2) - 6:35
3. Some Misunderstanding (Version 3) - 5:20
4. Life's Greatest Fool (Version 2) - 4:27
5. Train Leaves Here This Morning (Version 2) (Bernie Leadon) - 5:02
6. Lady Of The North (Version 2) (Gene Clark, Doug Dillard) - 5:45
7. The True One (Version 2) - 4:18
8. Strength Of Strings (Version 2) - 6:29
9. No Other (Version 2) - 5:40
All songs by Gene Clark except where noted
Disc 3
1. From A Silver Phial (Version 1) - 4:08
2. Life's Greatest Fool (Version 1) - 4:10
3. No Other (Version 1) - 5:15
4. Lady Of The North (Version 1) (Gene Clark, Doug Dillard) - 5:54
5. Some Misunderstanding (Version 1) - 5:12
6. Silver Raven (Version 1) - 5:00
7. Train Leaves Here This Morning (Version 1) (Bernie Leadon) - 5:46
8. The True One (Version 1) - 4:42
9. Strength Of Strings (Version 1) - 6:23
10.Life's Greatest Fool (1974 Single Version) - 3:10
11.Silver Raven (1974 Single Edit) - 3:21
All songs by Gene Clark except where stated

Musicians
*Gene Clark - Lead Vocals, Guitar
*Jerry Mcgee - Guitar
*Jesse Ed Davis - Guitar
*Buzz Feiten - Guitar
*Stephen Bruton - Guitar
*Danny Kortchmar - Guitar
*Ben Keith - Pedal Steel Guitar
*Leland Sklar - Bass
*Chris Hillman - Mandolin
*Michael Utley - Keyboards
*Craig Doerge - Keyboards
*Bill Cuomo - Rheem Organ
*Russ Kunkel - Drums
*Butch Trucks - Drums
*Joe Lala - Percussion
*Ted Machell - Cello
*Richard Greene - Violin
*Ronnie Barron - Background Vocals
*Cindy Bullens - Background Vocals
*Venetta Fields - Background Vocals
*Clydie King - Background Vocals
*Claudia Lennear - Background Vocals
*Sherlie Matthews - Background Vocals
*Timothy B. Schmit - Background Vocals
*Carlena Williams - Background Vocals

1964-90  Gene Clark - Flying High
1964-82  Gene Clark ‎- The Lost Studio Sessions (2016 audiophile double Vinyl set) 
1967  Gene Clark - Echoes
1967  Gene Clark - Sings For You (2018 digipak with unreleased material)
1968-69  Dillard And Clark - Fantastic Expedition / Through The Morning, Through The Night
1971  Gene Clark - White Light
1972  Gene Clark - Roadmaster  (2011 Edition)
Related Acts
1979  McGuinn, Clark And Hillman (2014 Japan SHM Remaster)
1964  The Byrds - Preflyte (2012 Edition)
1973  Byrds - Byrds (2004 issue)
1967-68  The Rose Garden - A Trip Through The Garden (2018 bonus tracks remaster)

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Saturday, April 11, 2020

David Blue - Cupid's Arrow (1976 us, great blend of country bluesy smooth classic rock, 2006 reissue)



Singer/songwriter David Blue has tended to be well supported by talented studio musicians on his string of albums, of which this is the seventh in ten years. Here, he boasts a backup band as good as any he has used in the past: Jesse Ed Davis on lead guitar, producer Barry Goldberg on piano and organ, Auburn Burrell on pedal steel and rhythm guitar, Donald "Duck" Dunn of Booker T. & the MG's on bass, and Levon Helm of the Band (or Michael Baird) on drums, with David Lindley adding mandolin, slide guitar, and violin. 

The playing gives him more of a rock sound than he has used before, although the musicians are versatile enough to give the leadoff track, "Run, Run, Run," a lilting Southwestern/Mexican feel to go along with its lyrics about the Santa Ana winds and the lights of Santa Fe, and to negotiate a reggae rhythm on "Maria, Maria." More typical, however, is "Tom's Song," a sinuous rocker that recalls the Eagles' "One of These Nights." But as the musical content of Blue's records has become more accessible and accomplished, his songwriting has tended to take more of a backseat, and his monotonic singing has remained only adequate. Here, the songs have interesting lines as they tell their tales of love and loss, but they are not as effective on the whole as Blue's earlier work. 
by William Ruhlmann
Tracks
1. Run Run Run - 4:34
2. The Ballad Of Jennifer Lee - 4:23
3. Tom's Song - 4:11
4. I Feel Bad - 2:32
5. Cordelia - 4:34
6. Maria, Maria - 4:02
7. Cupid's Arrow - 4:11
8. Primeval Tune - 5:18
9. She's Got You - 4:47
All songs by David Blue

Musicians
*David Blue - Guitar, Vocals
*Michael Baird - Drums
*Pattie Brooks - Vocals
*Phyllis Brown - Vocals
*Auburn Burrell - Guitar
*Jesse Ed Davis - Guitar
*Donald "Duck" Dunn - Bass
*Barry Goldberg - Keyboards,
*Levon Helm - Drums
*David Lindley - Guitar, Mandolin, Slide Guitar, Violin
*Jackie Lomax - Vocals
*Bill Schwartz - Vocals

1965-66  David Blue - David Blue / Singer Songwriter Project (2001 remaster)
1968  David Blue ‎- These 23 Days In September (2007 reissue) 
1969  David Blue - Me, S. David Cohen (2007 edition)
1972  David Blue - Stories (2006 edition)
1973  David Blue - Nice Baby And The Angel (2006 issue)
1975  David Blue ‎- Com'n Back For More (2006 release)

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Friday, April 10, 2020

David Blue - Stories (1972 us, beautiful folk country rock, 2006 edition)



With his fourth album, Stories, David Blue joined Asylum Records, the label headed by David Geffen that had been set up to shelter singer/songwriters like Jackson Browne. For Blue, it was another welcoming home after stints at similarly artist-friendly Elektra and Reprise, and Stories was a continuation of his explorations of the personal relationships of sensitive people. 

The opening song was called "Looking for a Friend," and that was a good introduction to an album that was about the ups and downs of friendship and the loneliness that sets in when friends are not around. Musically, the album was divided between its two LP sides, each containing four songs. On the first four, the arrangements tended to be limited to two acoustic guitars, while the second half used more extensive instrumentation, including Pete Jolly's accordion on "Marianne," the piano-with-strings "Fire in the Morning" (the chart done by Jack Nitzsche), the full-on rock band playing on "Come on John," and piano/organ folk-rock for "The Blues (All Night Long)," with Ry Cooder adding slide guitar. Blue's lyrical reflections, expressed in his matter-of-fact baritone, touched on experiences that ranged from temporary romantic contentment to suicidal urges. "It wasn't easy, when I think about it/Living in the house of changing faces," he sang in the chorus of "House of Changing Faces," "I still have the tracks to remind me what life was like, high and wasted/When I wanted to die." That wasn't the only song to allude to drug use.

The most explicit was "Come on John" (previously recorded by Helen Reddy), a cautionary tale for a friend that left little doubt about its subject when it began, "I've got a friend with a habit/A habit of runnin' away/He says he can't take it/But he takes it every day." Musically, the song had the feel of Bob Dylan's "Ballad of a Thin Man," but for once Blue didn't sound so much like Dylan on Stories as he did like Leonard Cohen. In fact, there was one song that might have been a direct response to Cohen. It's hard not to at least speculate that "Marianne" may share a subject with Cohen's "So Long, Marianne," particularly because of the musical similarity and because of the lines "I knew her from another song her older poet, he'd wrote before/We played in the morning, laughing on the floor/Till he came a-knocking on the Lower East Side door." Although Blue, too, seemed not have stayed with her, he made a point of countering Cohen's farewell, singing in the chorus, "Do not cry, you have helped me, I will not say goodbye." Whether or not this is the same Marianne, however, she is another friend described by Blue in a series of songs about a community of companions who love and lose each other, yet whatever their fates, he seemed grateful to them all. 
by William Ruhlmann
Tracks:
1. Looking For A Friend - 3:41
2. Sister Rose - 3:53
3. Another One Like Me - 3:17
4. House Of Changing Faces - 6:23
5. Marianne - 4:37
6. Fire In The Morning - 3:50
7. Come On John - 3:38
8. The Blues (All Night Long) - 6:25
All songs written by David Blue

Personnel
*David Blue - Vocals, Guitar, Piano
*Ry Cooder - Slide Guitar
*Chris Ethridge - Bass
*Bob Rafkin - Bass, Guitar
*Ralph Shuckett - Organ
*Pete Jolly - Accordion
*Russ Kunkel - Drums
*James Karstein - Drums
*John Barbata - Drums
*Milton Holland - Percussion
*Rita Coolidge - Backing Vocals
*Jack Nitzsche - Strings Arrangements

1965-66  David Blue - David Blue / Singer Songwriter Project (2001 remaster)
1968  David Blue ‎- These 23 Days In September (2007 reissue) 
1969  David Blue - Me, S. David Cohen (2007 edition)
1973  David Blue - Nice Baby And The Angel (2006 issue)
1975  David Blue ‎- Com'n Back For More (2006 release)

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Wednesday, April 8, 2020

David Blue ‎- Com'n Back For More (1975 us, wonderful folk soft rock, 2007 rerelease)



Backed up by some fine musicians, David Blue recorded his fifth album "Com'n Back For More" in 1975 (not counting his album "Me" under his real name Stuart David Cohen). 

The album contains some nice catchy songs, a good cover of Leonard Cohen's "Lover Lover Lover" a rocker "Where Did It Go" and the beautiful folkish "23 Days #2".
Tracks
1. Com'n Back For More - 3:00
2. Oooh Mama - 4:58
3. When The Rains Came - 2:56
4. Who Love - 2:38
5. Save Something (For Me Tonight) - 3:31
6. Lover, Lover, Lover (Leonard Cohen) - 2:58
7. Hollywood Babies - 3:20
8. 23 Days #2 - 4:06
9. Any Love At All - 3:26
10.Where Did It Go - 2:32
All songs written by David Blue except where noted

Personnel
*David Blue (Stuart David Cohen) - Vocals, Guitar
*Bob Dylan - Harmonica
*Joni Mitchell - Vocals
*Max Bennett - Bass
*Kreag Caffey - Harmonica
*Ben Keith - Pedal Steel Guitar
*Ben Benay - Guitar
*Danny "Kootch" Kortchmar - Guitar
*Don Felder - Guitar
*Larry Carlton - Guitar
*Robben Ford - Guitar
*Larry Nash, Tom Hensley - Piano
*Dick Hamilton - Moog Synthesizer
*Renie Press - Bass
*Karin Lamm - Vocals
*Dan Peek - Vocals
*Dewey Bunnell - Vocals
*Jerry Beckley - Vocals
*Carol Carmichael - Vocals
*John Guerin - Drums, Percussion, Vocals

1965-66  David Blue - David Blue / Singer Songwriter Project (2001 remaster)
1968  David Blue ‎- These 23 Days In September (2007 reissue) 
1969  David Blue - Me, S. David Cohen (2007 edition)
1973  David Blue - Nice Baby And The Angel (2006 issue)

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Tuesday, April 7, 2020

David Blue - Nice Baby And The Angel (1973 us, awesome country folk rock, 2006 issue)


David Blue, whose song publishing company is called Good Friends Music, has always relied on his fellow musicians, many of them more prominent in the record business than he is. His most prominent musical friend on his fifth album, Nice Baby and the Angel, is Graham Nash, who produced the disc in addition to singing background vocals and playing acoustic guitar and electric piano. Nash's influence has made for a fundamental change in musical style for Blue, whose previous efforts harked back to '60s folk and folk-rock. Not so Nice Baby and the Angel. Under Nash's aegis, and with sidemen including guitarist Dave Mason and multi-instrumentalist David Lindley, and additional background singers Mason, Glenn Frey of the Eagles, and Jennifer Warren, Blue is brought into the Southern California rock fold of country-inflected singer/songwriter music à la Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young and Jackson Browne.

The changeover is apparent right at the start with the rocking leadoff track "Outlaw Man." (The song was quickly taken up by the Eagles as appropriate for their Desperado concept album and released by them as a singles chart entry, giving Blue his biggest payday.) Mason makes himself felt right away with an electric guitar solo that runs right through the song. Anchored by Nash's keening tenor, the background vocals considerably sweeten this and other songs. Another potential single is "True to You," which is reminiscent of the First Edition hit "But You Know I Love You," while the catchy "Darlin' Jenny" makes lots of room for Lindley's slide guitar work. There are a few tracks on the LP that hark back to Blue's earlier style, the first of which is "On Sunday, Any Sunday," which features an arrangement for two acoustic guitars augmented by Lindley's violin and viola and Terry Adams' cello. "Yesterday's Lady" and "Troubadour Song" boast similar instrumentation, and the latter in particular is more characteristic of the old Blue with its downcast, introspective lyrics. 

Otherwise, Blue's words are somewhat less personal and involved than usual, although his outlook is much the same as ever, expressing the views of a lonely, sensitive man who encounters love but doesn't retain it. As he puts it in the album-closing "Train to Anaheim," "I'm still on the road/I can't be satisfied." Thanks to Nash, Nice Baby and the Angel dresses such sentiments in highly accessible musical garb that may make it easier for a larger audience to appreciate.
by William Ruhlmann
Tracks
1. Outlaw Man - 2:50
2. Lady O' Lady - 3:20
3. True To You - 3:40
4. On Sunday, Any Sunday - 3:44
5. Darlin' Jenny - 3:54
6. Dancing Girl - 2:48
7. Yesterdays Lady - 4:35
8. Nice Baby And The Angel - 3:06
9. Troubadour Song - 3:46
10.Train To Anaheim - 3:29
All songs by David Blue

Musicians
*David Blue - Acoustic Guitar, Piano, String Arrangements, Vocals
*Graham Nash - Acoustic Guitar, Keyboards, Electric Piano, String Arrangements, Vocals
*Jennifer Warren - Vocals
*Terry Adams - Cello
*John Barbata - Drums
*Chris Ethridge - Bass
*Glenn Frey - Vocals
*David Lindley - Acoustic, Slide Guitar, Mandolin, Viola, Violin, Zither
*Dave Mason - Guitar, Vocals
*Bob Rafkin - Bass, Acoustic Guitar

1965-66  David Blue - David Blue / Singer Songwriter Project (2001 remaster)
1968  David Blue ‎- These 23 Days In September (2007 reissue) 
1969  David Blue - Me, S. David Cohen (2007 edition)

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Monday, April 6, 2020

David Blue - Me, S. David Cohen (1969 us, excellent country folk rock, 2007 edition)



For this album only, David Blue reverted to his name, David Cohen. By this time, impressively, the overt Bob Dylan-isms of his 1966 debut had faded far enough that most listeners would not automatically peg him as a Dylan imitator anymore. It's a little Dylan-esque, certainly, but not more so than several other singer/songwriters of the period. More specifically, his voice was coming more into his own personality as a low-key country-rocker who was able to keep in tune much more than he had as a Dylan clone. 

Recorded in Nashville, as was fashionable among folk-rock singer/songwriters in the late '60s and early '70s, it's a low-key but pleasant record, coming as close to Townes Van Zandt as Bob Dylan. There are sturdy, somber story songs like "Atlanta Farewell"; breezy, poetic romantic ones like "Turning Towards You," which has an almost jazzy, breezy feel at points; and an occasional Tex-Mex border mood (as there had been on 1968's These 23 Days in September), which comes particularly to the fore on "He Holds the Wings She Wore" and "Better off Free." Certainly the most ambitious track is "Sara," which mixes Leonard Cohen-style spoken poetry with Mexican-influenced barroom lament. It might be a minor 1970 singer/songwriter/folk-rock album, but as such albums go, it's one of the better ones. 
by Richie Unterberger
Tracks
1. Mama Tried (Merle Haggard) - 4:37
2. Lady Fair - 3:12
3. Atlanta Fairwell - 5:45
4. Turning Towards You - 3:35
5. Isn't That The Way It's Supposed To Be - 2:12
6. Beautiful Susan - 3:14
7. He Holds The Wings She Wore - 3:56
8. Better Off Free - 3:50
9. Me And Patty On The Moon - 2:50
10.How Much My Life Means To Me - 3:52
11.Sara - 5:56
All songs by David Blue except track #1

Musicians
*David Blue - Guitar, Vocals
*Charlie McCoy - Harmonica

1965-66  David Blue - David Blue / Singer Songwriter Project (2001 remaster)
1968  David Blue ‎- These 23 Days In September (2007 reissue) 

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Saturday, April 4, 2020

Bodkin - Bodkin (1972 uk, enormous heavy prog, 2008 bonus track digipak remaster)



Bodkin was a Scottish quintet that released a self-titled album in 1972 (over the years this current title has become attached to its release). A very palatable blend of dark organ-rock and dirty blues, Bodkin will surely please listeners interested in the murky and mysterious early years of the Heavy Prog scene and anyone seeking rare prog.

They made a classic-sounding, rough-edged heavy progressive rock with the emphasis on Doug Rome's Hammond organ and complimented by Mick Riddle's guitar, Bill Anderson's bass, Dick Sneddon on drums, and the cool wailing of Zeik Hume. Somewhat more jam-oriented than contemporaries such as Atomic Rooster or Uriah Heep (and not quite as hard-hitting), Bodkin nevertheless delivered spirited rock music with energetic interplay between guitar and organ, fine musicianship, and distractingly good compositions from the 21 year-old Doug Rome. Give it a listen, it will crush you against the wall until it is all over!  
Tracks
1. Three Days After Death (Part 1) - 9:28
2. Three Days After Death (Part 2) - 7:09
3. Plastic Man - 5:59
4. Aunty Mary's Trashcan - 10:48
5. After Your Lumber - 5:12
6. Three Days After Death (Part 2) - Instrumental - 7:09
All compositions by Zeik Hume, Mick Riddle, Doug Rome, Dick Sneddon, Bill Anderson
Bonus Track 6

Bodkin
*Zeik Hume - Vocals
*Mick Riddle - Guitar
*Doug Rome - Organ
*Dick Sneddon - Drums
*Bill Anderson - Bass

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